ELECTION 2011: Turn-out increases as AV vote reflects trend

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TURNOUT for last week’s elections was up as a whole across the High Peak.

In total, 44 per cent of those eligible to vote in the High Peak did so on Thursday with only three wards across the borough seeing a decrease in turnout.

Many of the wards in the area saw a significant increase in voter turnout including Chapel East ward, where this year’s turnout was 46.85 per cent compared to 37.13 per cent in 2007.

In the Blackbrook ward, more than half of all those eligible to vote, 55.11 per cent, did so compared to 47.62 per cent who voted in 2007.

And Burbage also saw a significant increase from 38.82 per cent to 44.64 per cent.

In the rural Hope Valley ward, turnout this year was 55.86 per cent, as opposed to 45.51 per cent four years ago.

Whaley Bridge also saw an almost ten per cent increase in turnout from 42.25 per cent in 2007 to 51.13 per cent on Thursday.

The only wards where voter turnout declined were Buxton Central Ward, down marginally from 39.76 per cent in 2007 to 36.18 per cent this year, and New Mills East at 36.54 per cent – just slightly down on 2007’s figure of 37.5 per cent.

As well as the borough and parish elections last week, voters were also asked to have their say on proposals to change the voting system from the traditional first past the post method to the Alternative Vote or AV, where candidates are ranked in order of preference.

In the High Peak for the AV vote, 32,186 papers were returned from an electorate of 71,604, giving a turnout of 45 per cent with 10,443 yes votes and 21,569 no votes, reflecting the national trend.